The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has a prayer initiative #PrayForMarriage inviting Christians to pray regarding what might be a landmark decision on marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court. The initiative urges prayer by churches and organizations specifically on April 28th, 2015 at 9 a.m. CDT, when the oral arguments involving same-sex marriage begin. The justices are expected to issue an opinion by late June or early July.
Here’s a sample prayer guide provided by the ERLC:
• God designed marriage as a way to prosper creation and to reflect his gospel (Gen. 2; Rom. 13; Eph. 5). Pray that all people, including governing authorities, would honor the institution of marriage.
• God can turn the hearts and minds of the justices to do his will (Prov. 21:1). Pray for the Supreme Court justices, that they would be receptive to the arguments being made passionately before them.
• God can guide the mind and speech (Exod. 4:11-12). Pray for lead attorneys who will be arguing on behalf of the states seeking to uphold marriage. Ask God to give them clarity and wisdom, for their arguments to be persuasive, and for God to give them favor before the justices.
• God can give understanding to make sound decisions (Prov. 2:6-8). Pray for those who disagree with us, that God would help them understand and respect the opinions of those whose definition of marriage is grounded in the biblical witness.
• God is sovereign (Gen. 50:20). We ought to pray and hope for the best but plan for what Justice Scalia predicted in 2013: “As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.” Even in the event of a bad decision, marriage will always be what marriage truly is.
The ERLC provided on its website a new avatar for churches and individuals to use on their social media accounts and encourages the inclusion of the hashtag #PrayForMarriage with their status updates and tweets.
In Tom Strode’s recent article, he states:
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 37 states, nearly tripling the 13 states where it was legal in mid-2013. It also is legal in the District of Columbia. Court rulings have produced legal gay marriage in more than two-thirds of those states. The expansion of same-sex marriage has resulted in a growing clash between the rights of gay couples and the religious freedom of individuals and organizations. Florists, bakers, photographers and other business owners who have conscientious objections to providing their services for same-sex ceremonies have been penalized or are facing penalties for their refusal.
Author: Shirley Pittenger
Shirley Pittenger was the Executive Assistant, Office Manager, and Digital Communications & Social Media Manager at Bixby’s First Baptist Church from 2009 to 2017. Shirley is married to Bob Pittenger who is the Community Groups Pastor at the Church at Battlecreek in the Tulsa Metro area. Shirley holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Baptist College of Florida. She enjoys teaching in the youth group, singing, reading, studying God’s Word, and spending time with her family.